The Red-whiskered Bulbul, Pycnonotus jocosus, is a member of the bulbul family. It is resident in tropical Asia from Pakistan and India through to southeast Asia and China. It has been introduced to New South Wales in Australia, to Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Florida in the United States, and to Mauritius.
After bath in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Immature in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
This is a bird of lightly wooded areas, more open country with bushes and shrubs, and farmland. It is more often heard than seen, but will perch conspicuously on occasions. It builds its nest in a bush; two to three eggs is a typical clutch.
The Red-whiskered Bulbul is about 20cm (7 inches) in length. It has brown upper-parts and whitish underparts with buff flanks and a dark spur running onto the breast at shoulder level. It has a tall pointed black crest, red face patch and thin black moustachial line. The tail is long and brown with white terminal feather tips, but the vent area is red.
Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller than adults. The flight is bouncing and woodpecker-like.
These passerine birds feed on fruit, nectar and insects. The loud and evocative call is a sharp kink-a-joo, and the song is a scolding chatter. Its voice is similar to a cheerful human whistling. In fact: a human whistling into a bulbul nest will provoke a positive reaction from young chicks if present in the nest.
Its cousin the Red-vented Bulbul is more commonly seen around human habitats.
As with most sparrow-size birds in human habitations, its greatest menace are electric wires and cats.